IT ServicesStaff

Help and Support

PC / Mac Health Guidance


Our PC Clinic team got together and came up with the following suggestions to keep your machine running well.

Antivirus / Anti-malware

We cannot stress this enough, please use make sure your computer is protected. click on the link below to install free Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus suite (or Sophos on a Mac) software to protect your computer. We recommend that you run a full scan each week.

The HallNet Acceptable Use Policy states you must have up to date antivirus software installed.

Install Symantec for Windows and Sophos for Mac

Backup your data

If you run antivirus software and backup your data, you'll avoid 90% of the problems most users encounter (Yes OK, we made that number up, but you get the picture!).

More on Backing up your data.

Run system updates on your machine

It is important to run regular system updates on your machine, no matter what operating system you are using. For more information please visit the below pages: 

Windows updates

Mac OS X updates

Other things you can do to keep your Windows computer running well

Switch on System Restore

This means if your system does get corrupted, you, or the PC Clinic, can restore it back to a working version and recover files for you.


Windows 7: These suggestions by Microsoft may help speed up your computer, the defragmenting and freeing up hard drive space should be run every 2-4 weeks: Optimize Windows 7 and Windows 7 Top Ten Tips.

Our Student PC Clinic technicians use the IOBit Smart Defrag software to defrag their hard drives, but for most of you the built-in Microsoft software will do the job.

Other things you can do to keep your Mac OS X computer running well

Repair your disk permissions, this doesn't need to be done too frequently so set a reminder every month or two. Apple Repair Information.


Drivers allow the Operating System, e.g. Windows, to access and run the hardware inside your machine.

When you receive an error that a driver is not working correctly, you can usually fix this yourself by searching the internet with keywords similar to model number driver and selecting your operating system. For example, if you use an Nvidia 8800GT graphics card you would search Nvidia 8800GT drivers. Sometimes it can be a bit harder to search and you will need to go and look for it on the manufacturer's website. If you don't know the model number of the hardware then use the manufacturer's website and search through a Drivers or Downloads section.

Once you have obtained the drivers for your operating system, save them to your desktop. In windows, click Start, right click on Computer and select Properties. In Windows 7 / Windows Vista, device manager is usually on the left side. In Windows XP, it is one of the tabs on top. Click on it and you will see a list of all the parts in your PC. Anything that shows an exclamation mark suggests there is a fault somewhere. When you double click it you can see its status and then uninstall the driver in order to install the new one you have downloaded.

If you have any issues, come and see us in the PC Clinic.